The All Blacks Sevens squad for the last two legs of the Sevens World Series in Paris (May 13-15) and London (May 21-22) began training in Mt Maunganui on Monday.
All sixteen players will travel to Europe on Saturday as part of preparations for the Olympic Games in August. The squad includes injured captain Scott Curry who will train with the squad, but not play in the tournaments.
In mid-June all 16 players will take part in trials for the New Zealand Olympic Sevens team which will be named by the New Zealand Olympic Committee in early July.
All Blacks Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens said Dickson and Webber were still in the frame for selection depending on their progress with injuries. The door also remained opened for others in the event of injuries to squad members.
“We’re taking 16 to Europe so we can share the workload and give all players the opportunity to make the final team so to that end we’ll be using a different 12 for Paris and London," he said.
“It’s a very experienced group coupled with an exciting core of young players who are tasting sevens for the first time this season so it’s great we can take a larger group then normal to these two tournaments as we build towards Rio.”
New Zealand has been drawn in Pool A in Paris alongside Singapore Sevens winners Kenya, Portugal and Russia. The team is currently third in the season standings behind South Africa and series leader, Fiji.
New Zealand Sevens: Pita Ahki (North Harbour), Kurt Baker (Taranaki), Dylan Collier (Waikato), Scott Curry (Bay of Plenty), DJ Forbes (Counties Manukau), Akira Ioane (Auckland), Rieko Ioane (Auckland), Gillies Kaka (Hawke’s Bay), Liam Messam (Waikato), Tim Mikkelson (Waikato), Sione Molia (Counties Manukau), Lewis Ormond (Taranaki), Augustine Pulu (Counties Manukau), Teddy Stanaway (Bay of Plenty), Regan Ware (Waikato), Sonny Bill Williams (Counties Manukau)